So many people have asked me to review the Toyota Fortuner and I was happy to finally get my hands on one when the kind people of Sunshine Toyota on the Sunshine Coast lent me one to review. I was hopeful for good things, so let's see how good it is as a BabyDrive…
The Toyota Fortuner I tested was the Crusade model. It is a big seven-seat off-roader.
I found it to only have top tether anchorages in the second-row seats, so I couldn't install child seats in the third row. Also, the outer two top tether anchorages are right down the bottom of the seat backs, almost underneath the seats so they are hard to access and to connect. What's more, the central top tether anchorage is in the ceiling centrally above the third row passengers' heads, which could be unpleasant for the third-row passengers having both a top tether strap and central seatbelt coming from the ceiling in front of their faces.
I couldn't fit three forward facing child seats across the second-row as the Fortuner slopes in toward the top of the car, making it too narrow to get three child seats with padded head protection across the width. I did, however, find that a combination of two forward-facing and one rear-facing child seat fitted.
Also, when three child seats are installed, I found I needed to remove two of them in order to access the third-row seats.
The third-row seats fold up to the sides of the boot and give a nice big space for fitting prams, shopping and dogs!
From empty and only using five seats, the boot would hold seventeen shopping bags, which is the same as the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, five less than the Nissan Patrol, one less than the Ford Everest and the same as the Haval H9.
All sizes of pram and stroller fitted when using five seats AND when using all seven seats, which is really good and I could get some shopping bags in there too.
Storage inside the cabin is good too, especially as the Fortuner can boast four front cup holders! Two of these pop out of either end of the dash and another two are in the front central console. The second row has two in the central seat fold-down armrest and there are storage wells on either side in the third row too.
There are also air vents in the ceiling for both the rear rows which is a great BabyDrive feature.
The media system in the Toyota Fortuner does feel outdated. The system is relatively easy to navigate because it is quite basic and it doesn't have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
The interior of the model I tested had red and black contrast upholstery and was quite nice for a car of this price. That said, I did find some plastic panels felt a bit cheap in feel and there are a lot of buttons across the dash and central console that in very modern cars are now operated through a screen within the media system.
The Toyota Fortuner is an enjoyable car to drive, although the engine is quite loud and has a bit of a tractor like feel about it!
The Toyota Fortuner was given a five-star ANCAP safety rating in 2015. It has seven airbags as standard. The side curtain airbags extend to protect second and third-row seats. There are seatbelt reminders for the first and second-row seats only.